Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website Topic is solved

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Nick Martinez
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Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by Nick Martinez » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:06 am

Hi all. I’m working as Super Admin on a live Joomla site (version 3.8.6) hosted on a managed Microsoft Azure platform. The installation job for the site (installing Apache, MySQL, PHP, creation of the SQL database file and password and even the installation of the CMS (Joomla 3.8x) was all done by the webhost, so I can say my task is confined only to the creation and maintenance of the website.

I built the site’s menu structure, content categories and articles; installed extensions, modules, plug-ins and the like from the back-end Super Admin interface. One of the extensions I have installed is the Fabrik component which allowed me to add to the site a database application consisting of related tables/lists and forms. The application will be quite extensive as one of the several tables shall contain about 3,000 records with links to other tables (when encoding is finished). I now want to open the site to users, enable them to register (into one of at least four custom user groups) and allow them to add, edit/update records in one or more tables from the front end, depending on their group assignment.

I therefore proceeded to add custom user groups from the back-end Super Admin interface. Initially, the system (Joomla) allowed me to add the custom user group Database Encoder. I was alarmed however to note that the newly added user group was automatically assigned an ID of 0, and suspected an irregularity right then, as the element ID is supposed to be a primary key automatically incremented by 1 every time a new record is added. I went on to add one more custom user group (with the intention of adding a few more actually), but as I suspected earlier, the system denied the attempt with the error message – “Save failed with the following error: Duplicate entry '0' for key 'PRIMARY'”.

I managed to talked the guy managing the web host into trying a work-around using phpMyAdmin to edit the contents of the Joomla xx_usergroups.idb table, that is replace the 0 ID of the custom user group Database Encoder with 10, add a few more custom user groups, manually assign them IDs of 11, 12 and 13 respectively. The stunt seemed to have worked initially, but I noted the lft and rgt fields (for these custom user groups) were assigned 0s respectively, in contrast with those of the built-in user groups, which have specific values for these fields (which I assume to be automatically assigned by the system). I am sending as attachment a .png image of the xx_usergroups table as sent to me by the web host for your reference.
This is giving me a pause, aware of the fact that something is not going right, and this may hold greater implications of which I am yet unaware, with my limited exposure to the workings of the Joomla system. I’m not even sure if I will be able to assign permissions and viewing access levels to these custom user groups. I don’t want to try at this point, fearing it might only wreck the whole system.

Please, help me debug and understand what’s happening to my site; and advise me on what remedial measures need to be undertaken to make things right, before I go any further with this project. I don’t even know how this bug came to be; was it in the installation of the system or one of its extensions, or the restoration of akeeba back-ups, or anything that I or the web host did or failed to do.

Your help shall be deeply and greatly appreciated as the continuation and completion of this project depends so much upon the correct creation and configuration of custom user groups upon which permissions and view access levels shall be assigned.

I’m also including herein a printout of my Forum Post Assistant for your reference. Again, I shall be deeply grateful…

Thank you and more power.
Forum Post Assistant (v1.4.3 (Frosty)) : 1st August 2018 wrote:
Basic Environment :: wrote:Joomla! Instance :: Joomla! 3.8.6-Stable (Amani) 13-March-2018
Joomla! Platform :: Joomla Platform 13.1.0-Stable (Curiosity) 24-Apr-2013
Joomla! Configured :: Yes | Writable (666) | Owner: --protected-- . (uid: /gid: ) | Group: --protected-- (gid: ) | Valid For: 3.8
Configuration Options :: Offline: 0 | SEF: 1 | SEF Suffix: 0 | SEF ReWrite: 0 | .htaccess/web.config: No | GZip: 0 | Cache: 0 | CacheTime: 15 | CacheHandler: file | CachePlatformPrefix: 0 | FTP Layer: 0 | Proxy: 0 | LiveSite: | Session lifetime: 15 | Session handler: database | Shared sessions: 0 | SSL: 0 | Error Reporting: none | Site Debug: 0 | Language Debug: 0 | Default Access: 1 | Unicode Slugs: 0 | dbConnection Type: mysqli | PHP Supports J! 3.8.6: Yes | Database Credentials Present: Yes |

Host Configuration :: OS: Windows NT | OS Version: 10.0 | Technology: i586 | Web Server: Microsoft-IIS/10.0 | Encoding: gzip, deflate | Doc Root: --protected-- | System TMP Writable: Yes | Free Disk Space : 179.40 GiB |

PHP Configuration :: Version: 5.6.36 | PHP API: cgi-fcgi | Session Path Writable: Yes | Display Errors: | Error Reporting: 22527 | Log Errors To: D:\home\LogFiles\php_errors.log | Last Known Error: 31st July 2018 10:33:17. | Register Globals: | Magic Quotes: | Safe Mode: | Open Base: | Uploads: 1 | Max. Upload Size: 8M | Max. POST Size: 8M | Max. Input Time: 60 | Max. Execution Time: 300 | Memory Limit: 128M

Database Configuration :: Version: 5.7.9 (Client:mysqlnd 5.0.11-dev - 20120503 - $Id: 76b08b24596e12d4553bd41fc93cccd5bac2fe7a $) | Host: --protected-- (--protected--) | Localhost: Yes | Collation: latin1_swedish_ci (Character Set: latin1) | Database Size: 37.02 MiB | #of Tables: 110
Detailed Environment :: wrote:PHP Extensions :: Core (5.6.36) | bcmath () | calendar () | ctype () | date (5.6.36) | ereg () | filter (0.11.0) | ftp () | hash (1.0) | iconv () | json (1.2.1) | mcrypt () | SPL (0.2) | odbc (1.0) | pcre () | Reflection ($Id: 5f15287237d5f78d75b19c26915aa7bd83dee8b8 $) | session () | standard (5.6.36) | mysqlnd (mysqlnd 5.0.11-dev - 20120503 - $Id: 76b08b24596e12d4553bd41fc93cccd5bac2fe7a $) | tokenizer (0.1) | zip (1.12.5) | zlib (2.0) | libxml () | dom (20031129) | PDO (1.0.4dev) | openssl () | SimpleXML (0.1) | wddx () | xml () | xmlreader (0.1) | xmlwriter (0.1) | cgi-fcgi () | mysql (1.0) | mysqli (0.1) | mbstring () | gd () | gettext () | curl () | exif (1.4 $Id: e535278fc9664f5b7e5ddcdb6baec07426b8efd6 $) | xmlrpc (0.51) | xsl (0.1) | Phar (2.0.2) | soap () | pdo_mysql (1.0.2) | pdo_sqlite (1.0.1) | imap () | tidy (2.0) | wincache (1.3.7.12) | sqlsrv (3.2.0.0) | pdo_sqlsrv (3.2.0.0) | com_dotnet (0.1) | intl (1.1.0) | fileinfo (1.0.5) | pgsql () | pdo_pgsql (1.0.2) | mhash () | Zend OPcache (7.0.6-devFE) | Zend Engine (2.6.0) |
Potential Missing Extensions ::

Switch User Environment (Experimental) :: PHP CGI: Yes | Server SU: No | PHP SU: Yes | Custom SU (LiteSpeed/Cloud/Grid): Yes
Potential Ownership Issues: No
Folder Permissions :: wrote:Core Folders :: images/ (777) | components/ (777) | modules/ (777) | plugins/ (777) | language/ (777) | templates/ (777) | cache/ (777) | logs/ (---) | tmp/ (777) | administrator/components/ (777) | administrator/modules/ (777) | administrator/language/ (777) | administrator/templates/ (777) | administrator/logs/ (777) |

Elevated Permissions (First 10) :: administrator/ (777) | administrator/cache/ (777) | administrator/components/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/controllers/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/helpers/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/helpers/html/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/models/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/models/forms/ (777) | administrator/components/com_admin/postinstall/ (777) |
Database Information :: wrote:Database statistics :: Uptime: 304339 | Threads: 1 | Questions: 474847 | Slow queries: 0 | Opens: 1331 | Flush tables: 1 | Open tables: 1264 | Queries per second avg: 1.560 |
Extensions Discovered :: wrote:Components :: SITE ::
Core :: com_mailto (3.0.0) 1 | com_wrapper (3.0.0) 1 |
3rd Party:: WF_AGGREGATOR_DAILYMOTION_TITL (2.5.31) 1 | WF_AGGREGATOR_VIMEO_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_AGGREGATOR_VINE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_AGGREGATOR_[youtube]_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_FILESYSTEM_JOOMLA_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_LINKS_JOOMLALINKS_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_MEDIAPLAYER_JCEPLAYER_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_POPUPS_JCEMEDIABOX_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_POPUPS_WINDOW_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_LINK_SEARCH_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_ANCHOR_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_ARTICLE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_AUTOSAVE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_BROWSER_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_CHARMAP_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_CLEANUP_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_CLIPBOARD_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_CONTEXTMENU_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_DIRECTIONALITY_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_FONTCOLOR_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_FONTSELECT_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_FONTSIZESELECT_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_FORMATSELECT_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_FULLSCREEN_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_HR_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_IMGMANAGER_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_INLINEPOPUPS_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_KITCHENSINK_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_LAYER_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_LINK_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_LISTS_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_MEDIA_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_NONBREAKING_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_PREVIEW_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_PRINT_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_SEARCHREPLACE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_SOURCE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_SPELLCHECKER_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_STYLE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_STYLESELECT_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_TABLE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_TEXTCASE_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_VISUALBLOCKS_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_VISUALCHARS_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 | WF_XHTMLXTRAS_TITLE (2.5.31) 1 |

Components :: ADMIN ::
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3rd Party:: Akeeba (6.0.1) 1 | com_fabrik (3.8.1) 1 | JCE (2.5.31) 1 |

Modules :: SITE ::
Core :: mod_articles_archive (3.0.0) 1 | mod_articles_categories (3.0.0) 1 | mod_articles_category (3.0.0) 1 | mod_articles_latest (3.0.0) 1 | mod_articles_news (3.0.0) 1 | mod_articles_popular (3.0.0) 1 | mod_banners (3.0.0) 1 | mod_breadcrumbs (3.0.0) 1 | mod_custom (3.0.0) 1 | mod_feed (3.0.0) 1 | mod_finder (3.0.0) 1 | mod_footer (3.0.0) 1 | mod_languages (3.5.0) 1 | mod_login (3.0.0) 1 | mod_menu (3.0.0) 1 | mod_random_image (3.0.0) 1 | mod_related_items (3.0.0) 1 | mod_search (3.0.0) 0 | mod_stats (3.0.0) 1 | mod_syndicate (3.0.0) 1 | mod_tags_popular (3.1.0) 1 | mod_tags_similar (3.1.0) 1 | mod_users_latest (3.0.0) 1 | mod_whosonline (3.0.0) 1 | mod_wrapper (3.0.0) 1 |
3rd Party:: BT Content Slider (2.3.11) 1 | BT Google Maps (2.1.0) 1 | mod_fabrik_form (3.8.1) 1 | mod_fabrik_list (3.8.1) 1 |

Modules :: ADMIN ::
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3rd Party::

Plugins :: SITE ::
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Templates Discovered :: wrote:Templates :: SITE :: beez3 (3.1.0) 1 | protostar (1.0) 1 | protostarcopy (1.0) 1 |
Templates :: ADMIN :: hathor (3.0.0) 1 | isis (1.0) 1 |
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fcoulter
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by fcoulter » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:58 am

This is not something that Joomla does when creating user groups.

This sounds like an issue with your database structure. Note that when inserting a new record such as a user group it is normal for the primary key to be given a value of 0, the database should then automatically auto increment the value. Check the table structure, make sure that the primary key has a value of AUTO_INCREMENT.

However it is concerning that this could come about at all, do you have any custom scripts that could be interfering with the Joomla users table? Or anything in Fabrik?

Also note the folder permissions of 0777, not recommended.
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Nick Martinez
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by Nick Martinez » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:04 am

Thanks a lot to fcoulter’s fast and reassuring reply, considering the amount of uncertainty one encounters when confronted by a bug of unknown origin, nature and magnitude. Your reply was not only fast; it hit something. Your notion that this is an issue in the database structure made me try adding a new User. To my surprise, this was also denied by the system with an error message warning of an error in SQL Syntax (I’m attaching a screenshot of the error for your reference). This is something new, because to my recollection, I was able to add three new Registered users to help me encode the 3,000 records into one of the Fabrik tables, starting April 2018. The period between then and now was however marked by a flurry of other site activities, i.e.,
  • the addition of other related Fabrik tables
    the installation of Fabrik form and element plug-ins (as required by the Project)
    a couple of server migrations/transfers initiated by the Webhost (last week of April)
    a couple of Akeeba backup restorations due to some glitches in the Fabrik database brought about by webhost's oversights in the server migrations/transfers
    the phpMyAdmin workaround for the xx_usergroups.idb table
I couldn’t think of any custom script I have added yet and I only hope there’s no conflict between Joomla and Fabrik or its plugins. I’ll go back to the webhost again and request a review of the database structure, advise them of your feedback to my original post and the SQL syntax error I’ve just encountered. I’m keeping my fingers crossed we will all be able to work out a solution to this setback and bring about the full realization of this whole project.

By the way, may I also ask also know the meaning of the folder permission 0777, what the recommended value(s) should be and how to bring that about? Please pardon my lack of knowledge of the Joomla stack. As you can see, I really am fledgling in this CMS and its operating environment.

Once again, fcoulter, thank you very much for pointing out the direction I must take in search for solutions to these Usergroup and User table bugs. You’ll hear from me whatever the outcome will be and I hope you’ll not tire of my enquires.

May your tribe increase.
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toivo
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by toivo » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:38 am

wrote:may I also ask also know the meaning of the folder permission 0777
In Linux terms, it would mean that the folder is 'world writable' and therefore insecure. The last three numbers mean owner, group, all users. Number 7 is the sum of 4 - read, 2 - write, 1 - execute. Ref. https://www.linux.com/learn/understandi ... ermissions

The good news is that in the Windows environment those permissions are not accurate and you do not need to worry about them.
Last edited by toivo on Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: typo
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Per Yngve Berg
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by Per Yngve Berg » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:42 am

The Auto-increment Attribute must be missing on the ID field in the database. Check and correct it in phpmyadmin.

PS. Your Joomla is outdated. The current version is 3.8.11

Max. Upload Size: 8M | Max. POST Size: 8M

These values is to small. Increase to 32M.

Windows only have one set of permissions, so the 3 digits will always be equal.

Rename webconfig.txt to web.config

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fcoulter
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by fcoulter » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:55 am

I am glad that my response was useful.

The error message that you report when you try to create a new user does not come from the Joomla core (if such a bug had existed in your version of Joomla it would certainly have been known about).

So the issue is likely to be in a 3rd party plugin. You seem to have a lot of Fabrik plugins, I think that you need to look at any 3rd party plugins of type 'user' or 'system', and try disabling them, see if the problem goes away.
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Nick Martinez
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by Nick Martinez » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:31 am

Wow! It's so overwhelming to receive responses from these Joomla gurus, toivo, fcoulter and Per Yngve Berg no less. Thanks so much for the feed-backs from these Joomla sages. The problems earlier bugging my User Groups and Users tables were practically solved. As you have suggested, I asked my web host to check and correct the auto-increment property of the primary keys. And thereafter, I was able to add Custom User Groups and Users to the said tables. I am in fact setting up permissions and viewing access levels for these User Groups now.

With such a community, my resolve to forge ahead to create more Joomla projects or web sites is restrengthened. I now feel more confident with your backing guys. I hope that one day, I will also be able to give back to the community by sharing my experiences on the myriad situations that we go through in using this wonderful and powerful WCMS platform. Long live the Joomla Gurus, Masters, Aces, Exemplars and all the members of this community! Long live Joomla forum!

Nick Martinez
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Re: Unable to add Custom User Group from the backend Super Admin interface of a Joomla 3.8.6 website

Post by Nick Martinez » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:50 am

My deepest thanks to you Toivo, Per Yngve Berg and fcoulter. I can never say enough thanks.


Nick


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